Look Who You Could Have Had:
- Frank Williams, 90, English actor (The Army Game, Dad’s Army, You Rang, M’Lord?).
- Mary Mara, 61, American actress (Nash Bridges, ER, A Civil Action), drowned.
- Jasmine Burkitt, 28, English television personality (Small Teen, Bigger World), suicide.
- Nick Nemeroff, 32, Canadian comedian.
- Joe Turkel, 94, American actor (The Shining, Blade Runner, Paths of Glory).
- Dame Deborah James, 40, English journalist (You, Me and the Big C), bowel cancer.
- Sonny Barger, 83, American biker, author and actor (Sons of Anarchy), co-founder of the Hells Angels, cancer.
- Andy Goram, 58, Scottish footballer (Oldham Athletic, Rangers, national team), oesophageal cancer.
- Peter Brook, 97, English theatre and film director (Lord of the Flies, Ride of the Valkyrie, Marat/Sade).
- Alain de Cadenet, 76, English racing driver and television presenter (Legends of Motorsport, Victory by Design).
In Other News
If you’re stuck for who to list next year, may I suggest a British free climber who posed as a construction worker to sneak to the top of a skyscraper and dangle from a gut-churning height above Dubai with just one hand. Adam Lockwood, a 21-year-old from Manchester, gained entry to the residential skyscraper, Il Primo, and attempted to dodge the real construction workers during his ascent to the top – 390 metres (1,280ft) above ground. In video footage that documents his death-defying stunt in the United Arab Emirates, he films himself walking into a part of the building that looks to be under construction, noting there is hardly anyone around. But later he comes across a worker who asks him what he’s doing. He uses Google translate to say in Arabic that he “was working on the site and forgot something” before he is told to leave. Mr Lockwood then uses a different staircase to start his climb to the 77th floor, while stopping every so often to drench his head with water from taps to cool himself down in the heat. He says in the video that he changed staircases eight times in two hours as he kept coming across workers. At the top, the daredevil uses no safety equipment as he spins himself around the poles of the crane – as if on a playground climbing frame – with a view of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, nearby. He said his experience was “surreal” but also “almost peaceful” as his “brain is blank” while he carries out his stunts. “When I first looked at the footage, I was thinking to myself: ‘This is it, this is the most incredible thing I’ve done’,” he said. “It’s something I know I can do and that 99 per cent of the world can’t and never will do, so I feel obliged to use my ability and enjoy doing it in the process.” He said he later discovered that the bars of the crane has been covered in “grease”, something he mistook before starting his stunt for desert dust.
A man thought to be the most overweight in Britain has tragically died at the age of 37 of organ failure and sepsis after being admitted to hospital. Matthew Crawford weighed 55 stone at his heaviest and has hit headlines in recent years after taking up four hospital beds in the NHS for 18 months due to a lack of social care at home. Friends have paid tributes to him online as a ‘great lad’ who is ‘with his father now’. Nicknamed ‘Fatkid’, his friends reminisced about their time with Mr Crawford in years gone by, with one writing: ‘Sad news I’ve not seen him in years. Quite a lot younger than us if I remember rightly. RIP.’ He was admitted to The King’s Mill Hospital in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, in May 2018, and is thought to have cost the NHS up to £7,000 a week during his extended stay. For much of that time he had been declared medically fit to leave, but was unable to be discharged due to a lack of appropriate social care being available. An NHS source at the time told the flying monkeys: ’Everybody is sick to the back teeth with the situation and it’s about time it was exposed. There’s nothing medically wrong with Matt now but we’re powerless to get rid of him. There’s space for four people who need to be on the ward being taken up by one bloke who doesn’t.’ Mr Crawford also had to be moved to a separate area of the hospital after staff learned he had a previous conviction for attacking four nurses at a care home he was living in. But his mother Linda denied reports circulating in the media at the time which claimed he was regularly ordering takeaways from his hospital bed. A year later he was finally able to move to a more ‘appropriate’ setting in December 2019. A spokesperson for Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust said at the time: ‘While we are not able to comment on the care of individual patients for reasons of confidentiality, we can confirm that Mr Crawford is no longer in the care of Sherwood Forest Hospitals. Mr Crawford is believed to have been Britain’s fattest man at the time of his death after 52-year-old Barry Austin, a Birmingham cab driver who had previously held the title, died last January.
Mystery is surrounding the death of an American jet ski world champion dubbed ‘Eric the Eagle’, who was found floating in the water near his undamaged Kawasaki after ‘disappearing’ during a race. Eric Francis, 36, from West Palm Beach, Florida, was found dead off the coast of Guadeloupe during a race in the Caribbean on Saturday, just weeks before the birth of his second daughter. The Floridian nicknamed ‘Eric the Eagle’ was married to British world champion jet skier Sophie Francis, 26. The couple have a two-year-old daughter and Sophie, from Wiltshire, UK, is due to give birth to their second daughter in the next few weeks. Both she and their daughter were in Guadeloupe supporting Eric and are now being comforted by family and friends. Eric was racing in the Marie-Galante jet ski race near Saint-Louis, Guadeloupe, where conditions were ‘moderate’. A search party was launched when he didn’t show for the final stage of the race. The multi-race winning world champion was found on Saturday afternoon near his high-powered Kawasaki Ultra 310X jet ski, which has a top speed of 67mph. His jet ski was found undamaged nearby and an investigation is taking place to establish the cause of death.
Travis Barker has revealed that he was admitted to hospital last week after being diagnosed with “life-threatening pancreatitis”. On Tuesday 28th June, the Blink-182 drummer was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles alongside wife Kourtney Kardashian. According to reports, Barker first attended West Hills Hospital in the morning after experiencing a health issue, but was then transferred to the larger hospital by ambulance. Fans shared their concerns after Barker’s 16-year-old daughter Alabama asked her followers for their prayers on social media. By Saturday night, Barker shared an update on his health, explaining that a routine endoscopy had left him with pancreatitis. ‘I went in for an endoscopy Monday feeling great,” Barker wrote on Instagram Stories. “But after dinner I developed excruciating pain and have been hospitalised ever since. During the endoscopy I had a very small polyp removed right in a very sensitive area, usually handled by specialists, which unfortunately damaged a critical pancreatic drainage tube. This resulted in severe, life-threatening pancreatitis. I am so very very grateful that with intensive treatment I am currently much better.” Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, a small organ located behind the stomach that helps with digestion. In her own post, his wife Kardashian described her “scary and emotional” week, writing: “Our health is everything and sometimes we take for granted how quickly it can change. I am so grateful to God for healing my husband, for all of your prayers for him and for us, for the overwhelming outpouring of love and support. I am so touched and appreciative,” she said. “I am so so thankful to our specialists, doctors and nurses at Cedars Sinai for taking such wonderful care of my husband and me during our stay. It’s crazy how sometimes words could never truly express the gratitude or feelings I have inside of me.”
On This Day
- 1886 – Karl Benz officially unveils the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, the first purpose-built automobile.
- 1938 – World speed record for a steam locomotive is set in England, by the Mallard, which reaches a speed of 125.88 miles per hour.
- 1969 – Space Race: The biggest explosion in the history of rocketry occurs when the Soviet N-1 rocket explodes and subsequently destroys its launchpad.
- 1996 – British Prime Minister John Major announced the Stone of Scone would be returned to Scotland.
- 1937 – Jacob Schick, American-Canadian inventor, invented the electric razor (b. 1877).
- 1971 – Jim Morrison, American singer-songwriter (b. 1943).
- 2012 – Andy Griffith, American actor, singer, and producer (b. 1926).
A Mafioso Hit?
Police are investigating the mysterious crash that claimed the life of Massimo Bochicchio, 56, who was due to give evidence in court after allegedly stealing around €500million from wealthy investors. His client list includes former Italian national football team coach Marcello Lippi and former Chelsea and present Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte, who was allegedly cheated out of more than €20million.
The broker hung around at the Circolo Canottieri Aniene sports club, one of Italy’s oldest and most notorious sports clubs, and often boasted that he was close friends with the honorary chairman, Giovanni Malago.
His LinkedIn profile shows he used to work at HSBC, and was linked to an enormous network of companies, with many registered in the UK.
Bochicchio’s talk of international investments won him a luxurious lifestyle as investors handed over their cash for the promise of 10% returns.
But when investors demanded to see their returns, Bochicchio skipped town.
He left Italy in 2020 to lie-low, dodging calls and letters from his investors asking what had happened to their money.
By then, Italy’s financial crimes department had caught wind that something was amiss. Tax investigators opened an inquiry and seized nearly €11million in assets including an Alpine ski resort and a Picasso painting.
Eventually, the authorities caught up with Bochicchio.
Interpol tracked him down to Jakarta and arrested him on July 2021, flying him home to face trial and give evidence.
As well as his legitimate clients, investigators believe that Bochicchio also stole money from criminal investors who were using him to launder money held in offshore accounts.
The hearing was scheduled in the Capitoline court in piazzale Clodio the day after his death, opening up questions over the timing of the accident.
In another twist, one report suggested his motorbike was on fire even before he crashed, according to The Times, sparking speculation that his vehicle could have been sabotaged.
But which of Bochicchio’s affiliates could have targeted the crook? His list of clients stretches to include obscure celebrities and connected Italian businessmen of many varieties.
Police wiretaps leaked to Italian media in 2020 reveal that at least one of told Bochicchio’s clients was waiting outside of his house, making a sinister promise to his life that ‘something will happen’.
‘We await the outcome of tests on the bike, but Bochicchio never told me he had received threats,’ said his lawyer, Gianluca Tognozzi.
His wife had filed divorce papers before he died, Il Mesaggero reported, after she confessed to her sister she could no longer put up with people turning up to their house.
Other investors and affiliates have so far kept silent, but Italian investigators are hoping they can piece the conspiracy together even without evidence from Bochicchio.
Last Week’s Birthdays
Tom Cruise (60), Patrick Wilson (49), Kurtwood Smith (79), Yeardley Smith (58), Margot Robbie (32), Lindsay Lohan (36), Jerry Hall (66), Larry David (75), Saul Rubinek (74), Peter Kay (49), Pamela Anderson (55), Liv Tyler (45), Dan Aykroyd (70), Jean Marsh (88), Debbie Harry (77), Jamie Farr (88), Vincent D’Onofrio (63), Katherine Ryan (39), Mike Tyson (56), Gary Busey (78), Amanda Donohoe (60), John Cusack (56), Mel Brooks (96), Kathy Bates (74), Felicia Day (43), Alice Krige (68), Elon Musk (51), Tobey Maguire (47), J.J. Abrams (56), and Meera Syal (61).